Garrett Ellwood/National Basketball Association

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly claimed Tarik Black off waivers after he was released by the Houston Rockets following the signing of Josh Smith.

By SI Wire
December 28, 2014

The Los Angeles Lakers claimed center Tarik Black off waivers on Sunday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Black, a rookie, was waived by the Houston Rockets on Friday to open a roster spot for Josh Smith, who signed with the Rockets after he was released by the Detroit Pistons.

The Lakers released injured forward Xavier Henry to clear a spot for Black. Henry suffered a season-ending torn Achilles last month. The four-year veteran was coming off his best season in 2013-14, as he averaged 10.0 points and 21.1 minutes per game, both career-highs.

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Black, a 6'11 forward and, like Henry, a former Kansas Jayhawks star, went undrafted but had impressed during early-seaon action. In 25 games (12 starts), Black averaged 4.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 15.7 minutes per game.

According to Wojnarowski, the Rockets attempted to trade a player to clear a roster spot for Smith, but chose to release Black instead. Black has a non-guaranteed contract for $500,000 this season, and the Lakers will also have a team option of $845,000 for next season.

The Lakers have opened the season 9-21.

Mike Fiammetta

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